Never mind that drift’s a thing,
grit the glaciers left behind—
or in this case, didn’t.
The Driftless, we say
a little breathlessly, a little remote,
about a place we’ve never seen,
a place in the mind.
We don’t want to get it,
we want to get over it
to where signs mean the opposite.
A little spell, ungrammatical.
Little getaway. Of course
the valleys are blind,
and streams sink out of sight
and rise capriciously as loons,
whose calls no more connect
to any known emotions
than their coats’ white dots and dashes.
Their red candied eyes.
Voted least likely.
We need extravagance that badly.
Austin Segrest teaches English and creative writing at Lawrence University. His poems appear in The Yale Review, The Threepenny Review, Ecotone, New England Review, Ploughshares, Guernica, Image, Blackbird, The Harvard Review, and many other journals. Find out more at austinsegrest.com.